World War II for Kids: A History with 21 Activities

World War II for Kids: A History with 21 Activities

World War II for Kids: A History with 21 Activities

World War II for Kids: A History with 21 Activities

Synopsis

Now more than ever, kids want to know about our country's great struggles during World War II. This book is packed with information that kids will find fascinating, from Hitler's rise to power in 1933 to the surrender of the Japanese in 1945. Much more than an ordinary history book, it is filled with excerpts from actual wartime letters written to and by American and German troops, personal anecdotes from people who lived through the war in the United States, Germany, Britain, Russia, Hungary, and Japan, and gripping stories from Holocaust survivors--all add a humanizing global perspective to the war. This collection of 21 activities shows kids how it felt to live through this monumental period in history. They will play a rationing game or try the butter extender recipe to understand the everyday sacrifices made by wartime families. They will try their hands at military strategy in coastal defense, break a code, and play a latitude and longitude tracking game. Whether growing a victory garden or staging an adventure radio program, kids will appreciate the hardships and joys experienced on the home front.

Excerpt

Recent history is so fascinating because you can still touch it. You can still meet and talk to people who were there when the events of World War ii took place. It is up to us to take advantage of these eyewitnesses to history before it is too late. Hearing the stories from survivors helps the words leap off the page and make history real.

When you read this book, you will find interviews and stories from all kinds of people about their experiences during World War ii. You will learn how to interview people yourself and record their words for your children and grandchildren. Now is the time to preserve the events that your parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and neighbors witnessed. You will be surprised what you discover.

I have made every effort to include as much firsthand information as possible in this book. There are three ways I have used this information.

The first way uses excerpts from actual letters written by soldiers or civilians between 1939 and I945. These letters help give us an idea what people were thinking during the war.

The second way quotes people’s memories of the war word for word. I have not added anything except to clarify a word here and there. Anything I have added appears in brackets [ ]. These quotes appear as sidebars.

The third way adds facts and information from other sources to various individuals’ personal stories. Sometimes I found that a person had an interesting story to tell, but it needed to be put into context with other events and facts. in this case the story is not a direct quote, but may include direct quotes within the text. Some of these stories appear as sidebars, but a few are included as part of the main text of the book.

Memories, especially those from 60 long years ago, are not always completely accurate. Sometimes memories contain both facts and opinions. It is up to you to separate facts from opinions and get a feeling for what life was like for each of the people whose stories appear in this book.

As you read this book you will realize that each of the millions of people who lived through the war had a different experience. Some fought on the battlefield and some fought on the home front. Some were safe and some nearly died. the war raged on in dozens of countries around the world, across thousands of miles and spanning vast oceans. It is impossible to sum up the war in one short book, but I have done my best.

Always remember that wars are fought by real people—as real as your sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles, parents and grandparents. in fact, no matter where your family members were between 1939 and 1945, their lives were in some way affected by World War ii.

As President Clinton wrote in his introductory letter, World War ii was the turning point of the 20th century. Our lifestyle and our very existence today hinge on the events and outcome of World War ii.

This is a history book, but it is also the story of all of us.

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